The Australian Defence Force (ADF) will commence trials on the F90-SMASH assault rifle later this year.
According to Jane’s 360, the system essentially pairs Thales Australia’s EF88 (known as the F90 in its export version) with the SMASH electro-optical fire control setup developed by Israeli company Smart Shooter. The company claims that SMASH “transforms basic soldier’s rifles into 21st century smart weapons.”
There isn’t much about SMASH in terms of details on Smart Shooter’s website. A separate Jane’s 360 article says the system features see-through optics; day and night vision capabilities; lock and track capability; and a “discreet reticle.” Using the same basic tech seen in anti-tank guided weapons, SMASH lets the user lock onto a target. It will then only allow a round to be discharged when a hit is guaranteed.
“This is the magic: taking off the human factor from the equation,” Dr Abraham Mazor, Smart Shooter’s VP for business development and marketing, told Jane’s. “Once the shooter decides on a specific target, everything else is taken over by the technology.”
Smart Shooter says that, in terms of benefits, SMASH boosts lethality and survivability; mitigates the effects of stress and physical effort; shortens time-to-hit; guarantees precision hits with little training; functions as an add-on to legacy weapons; retains “fire-at-will” capability; is MIL-STD 810 compliant; and boasts a short digital zeroing process.
See a video on the SMART system below.
The EF88, or F90, has its roots in the F88 “Austeyr”—an Aussie version of the Steyr AUG. In the late 80s, the ADF selected the bullpup to replace its L1A1 rifles. In 2016, defense contractor Thales Australia announced that the Enhanced F88 (EF88)—its updated version of the F88—had entered service with the ADF. Below are the key differences between the 5.56×45 NATO EF88 and the F88, according to the ADF:
- Fixed, lighter Barrel
- Improved Gas Plug adjustment
- Double-action, side-opening Grenade Launcher
- NATO-STD Accessory Rail for laser aimers
- Improved trigger guard grip access
- Improved access to GLA trigger
- Extended Ejection Port and recessed covers
- Non-slip Butt Plate
- Modified Hammer Pack to improve reliability and facilitate silent cocking
- Improved Cheek Weld
- Improved Red Dot Grenade Launcher Sight
- Extended NATO-STD Top Rail-in-line accessories
- Reduced overall mass, improved balance
- NATO-STD Rail-grips, bipods and Visual Illumination Devices
- Folding Cocking Handle-less vulnerable to damage
- Bolt Release Catch-faster magazine exchange